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Westworld, Stranger Things, and Alexis Bledel won big at the Creative Arts Emmys

HBO and Netflix pulled ahead in the Emmy award count ahead of September 17’s primetime awards ceremony.

2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards - Day 2 - Arrivals
Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale) won her first Emmy for Guest Actress in a Drama.
Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The first round of 2017 Emmy awards have officially been handed out — but if you blinked and missed them and are wondering if you somehow mixed up the date of this year’s ceremony, you’re not alone.

The Creative Arts Emmys were held on September 9 and 10, one week before the Primetime Emmy Awards (which will take place this Sunday, September 17), as per the annual tradition. The difference between the two ceremonies is simple: The Creative Arts Emmys focus on technical achievements like lighting, cinematography, editing, and so on, as well as several categories within the reality, animation, and documentary genres. In total, 92 different trophies were handed out at Sunday’s Creative Arts Emmys ceremony. But there’s no difference between the actual awards — anyone who wins at the Creative Arts Emmys versus the Primetime Emmys is still a bonafide Emmy winner.

The Creative Arts Emmys are often considered a sort of foreshadowing for the Emmy Awards; if a shows racks up multiple wins in the technical categories, it usually means good news for them in the “bigger” categories to come. This year, Stranger Things and Westworld each won five Creative Arts Emmys, which may signal an overall fondness for both shows among voters that could translate into further victories down the line at the Primetime Emmys, where both shows are nominated in the Best Drama category. (Netflix’s The Crown, meanwhile, was an early favorite that only won two Creative Arts awards, which might mean less success at the Primetime Emmys than initially expected.)

In part because of Westworld and Stranger Things’ early success, HBO and Netflix remain the network frontrunners in terms of overall Emmy nominations for 2017, with their respective shows having already won 16 and 11 awards.

Other highlights of the 2017 Creative Arts Emmys include some notable wins in a few of the smaller acting and writing categories, like Guest Actor/Actress and Writing for a Variety Special. Melissa McCarthy and Dave Chappelle took Guest Actress/Actor in a Comedy, respectively, for their hosting stints on Saturday Night Live. Chappelle is a first-time Emmy winner.

Gerald McRaney netted NBC’s This Is Us its first acting win for Guest Actor in a Drama (he plays the doctor who delivered the Pearson family’s babies), while Gilmore Girls alum Alexis Bledel won the competitive category of Guest Actress in a Drama for her arc as Ofglen on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. (Sorry, Barb apologists.) Both McRaney and Bledel are also first-time Emmy winners.

If you want to see the Creative Arts action for yourself, FXX will air highlights from this weekend’s two ceremonies on September 16. The 69th annual Primetime Emmys will then air Sunday, September 17 on CBS.

You can check out the full list of winners for Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys ceremony at Vulture, and Sunday’s at Variety.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misnamed This Is Us’s Pearson family.

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